The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Father Cutie becomes an Episcopal priest

posted by jmcgee

The Catholic priest who made headlines last year is ministering again — and expecting his first child with his new wife.

From the Miami Herald:

186-cutie-cbsembeddedprod_affiliate56.jpg As he stood in front of dozens of reporters a year ago to say he was leaving the Roman Catholic Church and marrying, celebrity priest Alberto Cutié took a plunge, putting his life on a path that would look little like what he imagined when he slipped on that first clerical collar and vowed a life of celibacy in his 20s.

These days, he’s a suburban 41-year-old husband, sharing a three-bedroom house in Miami Shores with his wife and her son, often cooking Cuban meals before a game of Chinese checkers.

On Saturday, after dusting off the same white stole he wore when he knelt before Miami’s Roman Catholic Archbishop 15 years ago to be ordained, he put it back over his shoulders. Padre Alberto is a priest again, this time in the Episcopal church.

It’s not the only change in his life. In six months, the padre will be a dad. Ruhama Buni Cutié is pregnant.

“God’s not all that interested in you falling down. God is interested in you getting up again,” Cutié told Episcopal bishops and hundreds of parishioners gathered Saturday at Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park for the ceremony marking his return to the priesthood. He spent the past year at Resurrection, studying Episcopal traditions as lay minister.

It’s a denomination, he proclaims, “that is welcoming of all,” including himself, a once invincible priest who has seen many Catholics “act as if I dropped dead, as if I don’t exist.”

As a Catholic, he secretly struggled with his church’s stance toward homosexuality, contraceptives and his own celibacy. As an Episcopalian, he’s speaking freely about his support of openly gay clergy, of birth control, and, when a woman’s life is in danger, even abortion.

Life today is a far cry from what it was on Miami Beach, where Padre Alberto became a household name for his good looks and the one-man media powerhouse he built from scratch. That was before a Mexican tabloid printed racy photos of him getting cozy on the beach with a woman — now his wife — an undeniable turn against his vows.

There’s more about him at the link.



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Conservative

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:20 am


Sad. For one who made a name for himself (Father Oprah)in the spotlight now he is in the spot for a different reason. Now he renounces all that he taught as a Catholic priest. What a hypocrite.



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Dana MacKenzie

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:25 am


I must say, as one who wanted to give him the benefit of a doubt, he does seem to be saying, now, “I never believed any of it…”
Gives me the creeps, and I am not sure why.



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Klaire

posted June 2, 2010 at 9:12 am


I find this story/situation terribly sad. In God’s eyes, Father Cutie is still a Catholic Priest, and needs a lot of prayers. I think it really shows how vulnerable we become when we fall from grace. I often tell people who don’t understand celibacy and say “it’s not natural” not to have sex that they are correct. It’s “supernatural”, and can only be obtained from the grace of the sacraments.
Now there are two other people connected to this sad story, a wife and mother. It’s no wonder there are now about 4000 Protestant denominations, each one a result of a Catholic teaching too hard to live.
All the while, those who do live celibate, happy, and fullfilled lives know what the world doesn’t: you get far more than you ever give up; albeit only possible with sanctifying grace.
I hope people are praying for him.



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K

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:15 am


Sad. Another proof -to me- that Christianity has failed. So many words and not one about forgivness, acceptance or loving -either thy neighbor or thy enemy. What would Jesus say?



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jim

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:37 am


celibacy! schmellibacy !



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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:45 am


I find this insulting to clergy and people of both Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches. At least to me this seems only about the unity that Father Cutie, with all due respect, wants for himself, not the Body of Christ at large.



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Conservative

posted June 2, 2010 at 10:57 am


So many words and not one about forgivness, acceptance or loving -either thy neighbor or thy enemy. What would Jesus say?
Jesus would say “Go and sin no more” but Mr Cutie didn’t accept that either I guess.



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Jennifer May

posted June 2, 2010 at 11:47 am


K, celibacy has nothing to do with “Christianity”. Celibacy was the Catholic Church’s answer to widespread corruption and debauchery in the early days. Catholic priests are the only ones that practice celibacy… protestant ministers do not. There is NOWHERE in the Bible that states that priests are to remain celibate.



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Civitas Occiduus

posted June 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm


I’m going to be ironic and write something contrary to what I’ve written in the past: namely, a defense of the discipline of celibacy.
Jennifer May, Scripture and Tradition both contain the teaching of priestly celibacy. In the Pauline letters, St. Paul references those who “have become eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom” and those who have chosen to abstain from marriage. The wisdom of perpetual virginity is frequently extolled. Indeed, in one portion of Paul’s letters (Book and verse escape me at the moment and I haven’t the time to look it up, but I’m sure a good Deacon or Priest reading this will help me out), Saint Paul even appears at first read to denigrate marriage by implying that those who burn too much with human needs should marry so as to save themselves, but the celibate state is preferable.
While it is true that the Fourth Lateran Council ENFORCED the discipline of celibacy in the West, it did not establish it. The earliest Apostolic communities began setting young men apart for priesthood without marriage and vows of celibacy appeared no later than the 2nd Century. Whether all priests everywhere kept them, well, we need only look at ourselves to know how our ancestors behaved. The fact that it took a Council to enforce a rule should say something.
It is not Dogma and it is not an irreversible tenet of the Christian faith that Priests be celibate — and I personally believe that we have reached a point in the history of the Church where the discipline should be set aside. But to claim that celibacy has no basis in Scripture and that it’s just one more rule the Catholic Church made up is just ignorance. It is rooted in Scripture and Holy Tradition and is frankly a concrete sign of the God’s Grace in the world.



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Conservative

posted June 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm


The issue here isn’t celibacy at all. It is whether this self made celebrity priest ever believed anything he preached as a Catholic priest. Sounds like he has some splainin to do.



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Dante

posted June 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm


I am so sad. Sad for a brother who obviously has been to hell and back and is trying to make it all feel and seem so right. I know the feeling and therefore I also know the way out of that hell. I thinjk one of the saddest comments he made is that he has encountered Catholics who act as if he was dead. Let’s all keep placing him spiritually in the Heart of Mary and never forget that it could be anyone of us…anytime.



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Eugene Pagano

posted June 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm


word in defense of Father Cutie, from someone else who has gone from the Roman Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church.
According to the report from Episcopal News Service (http://www.dfms.org/81803_122585_ENG_HTM.htm), Father Cutie had been considering converting to the Episcopal Church for about two years before the tabloids got involved. “When Cutié and Canellis were received into the Episcopal Church a year ago, Frade said that Cutié’s decision to begin the path to priesthood in the Episcopal Church came after a two-year journey of discernment.” Whatever his reasons for converting, they cannot be dismissed as an opportunistic way of coping with the media storm.



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Conservative

posted June 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm


I would have no problem if he had left the priesthood in the proper way and got the proper dispensation to get married. Trouble is he made a big name for himself with his TV and radios shows espousing beliefs that aaprently he did not believe. He fooled around with a divorced woman and now they are “married”. Then to top it off he leaves the Church and now tells us what he never believed. Sounds to me like he needs help.



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Your Name B.J. Scott

posted June 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm


“All the while, those who do live celibate, happy, and fullfilled lives know what the world doesn’t: you get far more than you ever give up”….this quote by Klaire needs some clarification.
As a very old Catholic who has known many priests over many decades I can truthfully say that many priests who live celibate lives are NOT happy nor fulfilled. Many priests have lovers (male and/or female). Therefore, they are not celibate, and many priests have alcohol problems. Therefore, their lives are not fulfilled. Many priests live a double life….a public Catholic Church life and a private, lonely
existence.



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pagansister

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm


Hope he is very happy in his new life as an Episcopal priest and as a husband/soon to be father. Am also happy that the faith he now serves as a priest realizes that he can be a faithful servant to his God as well as a loving husband and father.



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pagansister

posted June 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm


Thank you B.J.Scott, for that insight into what I have suspected might be the case for some priests…that they lead double lives, having companionship (male or female)to help themselves find true happiness.



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Joyful Papist

posted June 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm


BJ Scott and pagansister… what you say is undoubtedly true.
It would also be true to say: “Some married people lead double lives, having affairs to help themselves find true happiness.”
My thought is that intimate sharing of feelings and companionship is essential for true happiness. Such intimate sharing often goes with sex – but it doesn’t have to. I know priests who have built warm and supportive relationships with friends and parishioners, and who are happy in their celibate lives. I know married people who do not have warm and supportive relationships with their spouses and who are utterly miserable.
Should I draw conclusions from such anecdotal evidence?
More sensible to look at published research: there was some research published recently – I can’t lay my hands on it, but I think Deacon Greg did an article – on a survey of priests’ attitudes to celibacy. More were happy than not – from memory around 70% – and felt that celibacy helped their commitment to their people. This compares well to the happiness of married people – around 65% averaged across various studies. Single people come out at around 45%.



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Conservative

posted June 3, 2010 at 7:26 am


“Hope he is very happy in his new life as an Episcopal priest and as a husband/soon to be father. Am also happy that the faith he now serves as a priest realizes that he can be a faithful servant to his God as well as a loving husband and father.”
I hope he repents of his hypocrisy. Frankly I don’t know how he sleeps at night.



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Mike Gering

posted June 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm


I am happy for Fr. Cutie. The celibacy rule in the Catholic Church is a sham. There is no way anybody can live by that stupid celibacy rule.



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Conservative

posted June 3, 2010 at 6:53 pm


Mike said: I am happy for Fr. Cutie. The celibacy rule in the Catholic Church is a sham. There is no way anybody can live by that stupid celibacy rule.
Mike just because you can’t think above your waist doesn’t that some can. Grow up.



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pagansister

posted June 3, 2010 at 10:07 pm


Joyful Papist:
I agree…those who are married also can lead double lives. Guess it might be fair to say that some men who become priests in the RCC find that they can’t live a celibate life and to be honest with themselves and the church, should leave the life, instead of breaking their vows to the RC.



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Bernie

posted January 11, 2011 at 12:03 am


What about his stance on the doctrine of salvation? Isn’t the teaching completely different in the 2 churches? Did he change his view on that as well? Aren’t there other major differences as well? The celibacy issue seems minor compared to some of the other issues.



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Bernie

posted January 11, 2011 at 12:04 am


What about his stance on the doctrine of salvation? Isn’t the teaching completely different in the 2 churches? Did he change his view on that as well? Aren’t there other major differences as well? The celibacy issue seems minor compared to some of the other issues.



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Juan medrastro

posted January 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm


Dear Father Cutié, may The Lord bless you and your new family. You did the right thing by leaving The Great Whore (Revelation 17:01).
I am puzzled by your lack of knowledge of the Bible. Why is it that after 8 yrs. of school and 15 teaching catholics you do not know the Scritures yet?.
Matt 23:09-”Do not call father anyone on earth for you only have one
FATHER and HE is in HEAVEN not on earth”.
May The Lord bless you Alberto.



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